Microtubules

ID #2288

From lecture it was my understanding that MT's would all originate at the centrosome, but they could later dissociate from it. But on the textbook, it says that microtubules can initiate in the cytosol because gamma-tubulin is there. Is this just an exception that wasn't covered or was it covered?


The vast majority of MTs will originate at the centrosome as was discussed in lecture. As the textbook says, there is also some gamma tubulin that is located in the cytoplasm and this can be used to seed the rapid growth of MTs. This is a bigger deal in plants, which do not have organized centrosomes and the gamma tubulin required to seed MT assembly is located near the nucleus. Prof. Mehrtens primarily discussed MT assembly in the context of animal cells but he also mentioned that plants do not have centrioles, which is additional evidence that MTs emanate from the PCM (and not the centrioles). 

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